I'll be glad when 3.10pm arrives today, when the gates to Dempsey's school are swung open and all the mom's that are gathered patiently waiting are swamped by noisy kids. You see today, Dempsey has gone on her first school field trip...........without me!
For the past few days I've had this terrible knot of fear inside that is swallowing me up and sucking the energy out of me.......and I'm wondering when or if I'll ever be able to loosen the grip of terror of something happening to my child and trust others with the safety of my daughter. Anyone that's suffered loss and grief often has a feeling of vulnerablility of losing someone else they love.
A few days ago in front of a class of seven year olds, I unashamedly begged her teacher to let me follow the school bus to their destination....not realizing how silly I must have sounded to a sane teacher, another mother, but one who hasn't lost a child and hasn't been to the depths of despair as I have. I wondered what she was thinking but didn't wait for her answer as I babbled on how I knew she must think I was a paranoid mom, and that I knew all the other children were just as precious as mine......and after getting her blessing...."OK Mrs Doyle, you can follow the bus!" I dragged Dempsey to our car with tears in my eyes.
I felt foolish and incompetent as a mother, not to trust the system and trust the other moms will look out for my baby like their own. And I wondered when or if ever I'll be able to let go of my fears of losing her too. I know in a heartbeat life can change......all it takes is a moment and a phone call. But I decided I had to tackle my obsessive thoughts and NOT go with her.
Sometimes I wish I was a naive mother, oblivious of the "what ifs" and accept the "what will be's". I have to learn to trust the universe is unfolding just the way it should be and that I can't change fate no matter how hard I try. And today I tried, believe me....I made Dempsey memorize our phone number over and over until she told me to "Stop Mommy!", I even wrote it down on the palm of her tiny hand with a sharpie in big bold numbers. I kissed her goodbye outside the school gate and said a prayer that she'll stay safe today.
However, amongst my fears today was the reinforcement that a small act of kindness from a friend can fill you with warmth and help you get through a tough day.
The phone was ringing when I walked back into our house.....it was one of the other mom's that is as paranoid as me, well maybe not quite as bad as me :) inviting me for a coffee to take my mind off things. So feeling down in the dumps I took up her offer.
Sitting in the coffee shop we discussed my fears, and hers, and I felt so much better, knowing there was someone who reached out to me, offering her support. It brought me a lot of comfort today....then, amongst the fresh coffee aroma and cinnamon muffins on the table, my cell phone started to vibrate.....to be honest, my heart stopped for a second as I heard Dempsey's teachers voice on the other end of the line......"Mrs Doyle, there's someone here that wants to say something to you!" As my heart beat faster I heard Dempsey's gorgeous tiny voice say "Hi Mommy, I'm having so much fun, we are at a park." I smiled and swallowed the lump in my throat and told her I was so happy she was having a great time and that I'd see her this afternoon." "I love you Mommy!" she said before the teachers smiling voice came back on the line.
Her teacher will never know how much comfort that one minute phone call gave me and how much I appreciated knowing my fears were acknowledged but that everything was going to be okay.
So today has been a good lesson to me, to acknowledge my fears but try NOT to let them rule my life as they have done in the past few days....to accept the inevitable and try NOT to dwell on the negatives of my demons and spoil my daughter's experiences. I have to look at the wonderful positive things Dempsey will go through today, like riding on a big bus and delighting in watching her first play, surrounded by her classmates and the sunshine.
I feel blessed to have such compassionate friends and peers that understand how tough some situations can be.......but I'll still be happier when I have Dempsey's warm hand in mine this afternoon as I walk back to my car, listening to the tales of her day, with her dimpled smile and enthusiasm....and also, thanks to others, today, my blue cup will be filled with sunshine! :) x
ps; todays post is for Barb...thank you my friend :)